Legalizing marijuana has been a double-edged sword for Chicago and other areas that have legalized the substance. Legalization promised to reduce arrests and inmate populations while bringing in tax dollars for the city.
Unfortunately, there are still issues with marijuana, even after the legislature passed laws making it legal.
Here’s what you should know about some of the problems Chicago is seeing, even after legalizing marijuana.
Pot price hike
New laws made marijuana easier to purchase and possess but have not had the desired effect on the price. Consumers hoped that legalization would bring prices down, but that has not been the case.
People who are selling pot legally have significant operating expenses to remain within the legal requirements. Also, taxes on both the seller’s side and the consumer’s side increase the price significantly.
Still a market for black market
Part of the attraction to the legalization of marijuana was supposed to be safer and legal access. However, the significant price that comes with compliance may be acting as a deterrent for those who want to purchase their pot legally.
Experts have noted that black market dealers quickly recognized an opportunity. Since illegal dealers do not have other costs, they are selling their product at a lower price but with the risk of being caught for drug trafficking.
There are still felony levels
While Chicago has made recreational marijuana use legal, unauthorized sales are not the only way to get in trouble with marijuana. There are specific limits for marijuana possession, some of which can reach felony level. If the police catch you with more than 100 mg of marijuana, you could be looking at felony charges with fines and jail time.